Customer engagement and customer experience are buzzwords that have captured the attention of businesses all over the world today. Today, top companies are always striving to exceed customer expectations and demands; and the fact that the customer demand landscape is ever-evolving simply heightens the significance borne by these two terms.
Interestingly, you will come across many instances where customer experience and customer engagement are being used interchangeably. Even though in reality they are closely interrelated, these two terms actually refer to two very different perspectives and bear significant differences as well. Business owners and marketing professionals need to steer clear of confusion and understand each concept clearly.
So, let us find out what these catchphrases mean and how they are different.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience essentially refers to the customer’s perspective.
Customer experience defines the customer’s overall views about their association with a brand. It is their perception of your brand which includes every little interaction they have had since the start of their journey with you.
Since customer experience is a highly subjective issue, it can be pretty complex since different customers define their experience using different parameters. It depends on a widely diverse range of parameters. While it is heavily dependent on straightforward aspects such as customer service, visual elements like design and the use of colors and fonts can also have considerable influence. Customer experience consulting helps businesses understand and gauge the level of customer satisfaction and ways to enrich it. Brands that are known for offering exceptional customer experience consistently exceed the customers’ expectations with their products and services.
What is customer engagement?
When it comes to customer engagement, you can conceptualize it as the reverse point of view. That means, customer engagement actually refers to the brand’s perspective about an individual customer. It includes all the interactions and communications created by the brand to influence customers, enhance their participation and brand loyalty, and even persuade them to make purchases.
By adopting the right engagement strategies, meaningful and relevant interactions with their target audience, and communication campaigns, companies can significantly boost customer loyalty. Granular aspects such as content, tone, and language can largely influence engagement levels. But offering personalized customer experience is an extremely effective strategy. So customer engagement can be defined as the sum total of the brand’s endeavors to maintain profitable relationships with its customers over a period of time.
How are they different?
You can say that customer experience and customer engagement are two sides of a coin. However, when you delve deeper, you will find substantial differences between these two. Being able to clearly differentiate between them helps develop positive and lasting customer relationships.
Now, think about it, irrespective of how smart your marketing tactics are, how affordable your products are or how well you are able to engage your target audience; if you are unable to deliver a solid customer experience, you cannot retain customers to buy from you or even engage further with you.
Consumers today have easy access to an abundance of options. They also have plenty of resources to research and help them decide which brand they want to associate with. It is therefore of utmost importance that you carve a niche in their hearts and strive to remain at the top of their minds always. Your customers need to clearly understand that you value their association with you and not just based on how much they spend. So in other words, you need to ensure a good customer experience if you want to improve customer engagement and loyalty.
Customer experience and customer engagement in tandem
According to customer experience consulting experts, customer engagement and customer experience cannot be mutually exclusive. An effective combination of these two is ideal for achieving the best profitability standards for a business.
With the right strategies, when you finely blend customer engagement and customer experience, your brand can experience further growth. You will experience more returning customers, i.e. there will be a significant boost to customer loyalty and more spending. Happy customers act like brand ambassadors, which means more outreach and organic marketing that ultimately leads to better sales figures and more revenue.